Fuel it Up Michigan: A Sad Edition, RIP Jason Leffler.

Welcome to “Fuel It Up”!  The racing world is chock full of intriguing stories, but sifting through them to get a good general sense of the landscape can be challenging.  In Fuel It Up, I take the biggest, more interesting storylines and present them to you in a quick, compact 300-words-or-less format.

Sad news to report today, NASCAR driver Jason Leffler was killed in an accident Wednesday night.  Leffler was driving in a dirt car race at Bridgeport Speedway in New Jersey Wednesday when his car was involved in a crash during a heat race.  Leffler, who had won two races in the Nationwide race was well liked by his fellow drivers, many of whom tweeted messages in his honor last evening upon hearing the news of his passing.  Leffler was 37 years old and is survived by his 5 year old son, Charles Dean.

This news came in after the writing of my column: so I just leave it below.  Obviously the Leffler news makes some of this seem at lot less important, but here are the other  headlines of the week.


The winner of this week’s paint scheme award goes to Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who will be driving his #88 National Guard Soldier of Steel Chevrolet on Sunday at Michigan International Speedway……………Speaking of Earnhardt, he has no sponsor for the final 13 races of the season.  Hendrick’s announced this week that he was very close to signing a multi-year deal with a new sponsor.  He declined to name the potential new sponsor.  The price tag?  According to estimates by the Sports Business Journal the price for sponsoring Junior is $800,000 per race……………  The Party in the Pocono’s ended very poorly for four fans as they were arrested after failing to obey traffic directions.  They were stopped and Police allegedly found 500 bags of heroin in their possession.  The four were arrested and charged with possession and intent to sell…………… AJ Allmendinger is replacing Bobby Labonte in the #47 Toyota this weekend and at several other races this year.  Labonte’s consecutive start string is safe however, as he will drive the #51 Phoenix Racing team car.  Labonte has 703 consecutive starts……………  Michigan International Speedway (MIS) held its inaugural race in 1968.  The race was an Indy Car race.  The tracks first NASCAR even was held the following year……………  Marcus Ambrose holds the track record at MIS with a speed of 203.241 MPH established last year in qualifying.  David Pearson leads all drivers at Michigan with 9 victories……………  Greg Biffle won last Junes race at Michigan with Brad Keselowski finishing second.  Jimmie Johnson has never won at Michigan.  Watkins Glen, Chicagoland Speedway, Kentucky Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway are the other tracks where Johnson has failed to capture a victory.……………  Detroit Red Wing Alternate Captain, Niklas Kronwall will serve as the Grand Marshall for the Quicken Loan 400.  Olympic Gold Medalist swimmer, Tyler Clary will be the Honorary Starter……………  Larry Callahan and Selected of God will perform the National Anthem prior to Sunday’s race.  The race will begin at 1:00 pm and will be televised by TNT.  MRN will provide radio coverage……………The Sunday weather forecast for Brooklyn, Michigan calls for a chance of an isolated thunderstorm with highs reaching 78.


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